Do you have a family member who drinks too much? How about a friend who regularly over indulges in his/her drinking? Then, if you really love them, it is time for you to speak up, especially if you are a professing Christian.
Why? First, because they are wrecking their life, and you know it and you see it. Second, because the people around them are living through that same wreck, especially the kids. But third, and most importantly, they cannot go to heaven in that condition, which means if they should die they will spend eternity in hell.
1 Cor. 6:9-11 Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, NOR DRUNKARDS, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Gal. 5:19-21 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; DRUNKENNESS, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
My moment of SPEAKING UP came 36 years ago. For quite some time in the early 1980s, my mom had been telling me about my dad’s drinking problem. I didn’t have to live through it while I was growing up; it didn’t become a problem until after I moved away and started my own family.
In 1985 God orchestrated a trip to Louisiana for work and even I could see that it was time to talk to dad about his serious drinking problem. My mom had told me that the hardest thing in the world for my dad to do would be to confess to me that he was an alcoholic. She had reminded me that he treasured my opinion of him more than anything in this old world and was worried that I wouldn’t love him anymore and wouldn’t respect him anymore and would be ashamed of him.
I had just finished a revival in northern Louisiana when he picked me up. Little did I know that dad had taken a big drink of vodka just before he picked me up, to help give him the courage to tell me about his problem. I knew it would be best if he confessed to me, rather than me bring it up to him. Therefore, I waited and waited and waited as we headed to Franklin. We talked about everything under the sun except his drinking problem. I was going to wait until we passed Jeanerette before I brought it up myself. Just before we got to the light in Jeanerette dad said with tears in his eyes, “Tatterhead, I need to tell you something. Your old dad is a drunk. I hope you can somehow forgive me and I hope you’ll still love me.”
I was sad that he even thought I’d stop loving him. So I spoke up, “Dad, you couldn’t ever do anything bad enough to make me stop loving you. And I wouldn’t swap you for any dad in the world. I just need to know what you’re going to do about it.”
He told me about an AA meeting that night that started at 7pm. He said he was going. We arrived at their house around 5pm. Mom had supper all ready. As I walked in the door, I nodded at mom, so that she would know we had talked about things. We ate and visited. I did what any worrying so would do, I checked the clock every few minutes. My dad always changed clothes before he went anywhere; he was a little prideful about his appearance. Finally, at about 6:30 I said, “That meeting is at 7, right?” Dad replied like any alcoholic would, “Well, since you are here, I thought I’d stay and visit and I’ll wait until next week to go.” That’s when it was my time to SPEAK UP. “Dad, that isn’t going to happen. Either you are going to that meeting tonight by yourself, or I’m going to that meeting by myself or we are going to that meeting together. But we are not going to sit here together and visit tonight.”
Dad looked at me a little perturbed, got up and went and changed clothes and headed out the door. That was the day my dad took his last drink. PTL!
One of my dearest possessions is his 25 year medal that he received a few months before he died.
Is it time for you to SPEAK UP to one of you family members? Maybe to one of your friends? THEN DO IT! Don’t wait; don’t put it off any longer. Their life and their eternity depend on it. SPEAK UP. SPEAK UP TODAY! God bless.
Mike Sublett is a pastor at Hi-Land Christian Church, 1615 N. Banks St., Pampa, Texas 79065. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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